A basic tour of the solar system and beyond, illustrated with a blend of stock photos and cartoons.
It’s hard to tell whether to blame the Dutch author or the uncredited translator, but the narrative is terminally afflicted with errors and ungainly phrasing, beginning with an observation that there “are several balls floating in space. We call them planets.” They continue past specious claims that lunar phases are caused when the Earth gets in between the moon and the sun, that the night side of Mercury is “burning hot,” that “all the stars and planets were shaped” only a million years after the Big Bang, and that Apollo 2 was the first moon landing (actually, that would be Apollo 11). Also, along with arbitrarily doodling cartoon stars or clouds amid real ones and adding the odd caribou or astronaut to photographed scenes, Mack implies in a caption that a photo of the Andromeda galaxy is the Milky Way and that a spacesuited figure with an “E. Aldrin” nametag is Neil Armstrong. (Collaged into the latter photograph is an Apollo 11 mission patch, which will mightily confuse readers who’ve read about the Apollo 2 landing on the previous, facing page.)
A playful approach can’t compensate for all the loose screws in the informational payload. (Nonfiction. 7-9)